On 16 February 2018, the Department of Public Policy of the Faculty of Economics, Management and Accountancy, University of Malta organized a workshop on the Future of Government with the participation of twenty citizens. The sample was intended to have different distribution and representation of age, ethnicity, gender, education, profession, and religion. The aim of the workshop was to reflect on present issues regarding governments and their relationship with citizens and envisage future.
At the beginning, the participants formed four groups of five participants to discuss issues of interest. Each group focused on two issues: Group 1: Law Enforcement and Autonomy; Group 2: Education and Good Governance; Group 3: Quality of life and Youth Participation; Group 4: Service delivery and Transparency.
The four groups consisted of a good mix of participants from different walks of life with respect to age, gender and education. The workshops ran smoothly and the participants discussed their perceptions on the relationships between citizens and government in decision-making and public services today. The different groups exchanged ideas, asked thought-provoking questions and made insightful remarks on critical aspects of current and future policy-making.
Insights were generated into how they think public services and decision-making processes would be in the future and how citizen-government should relate and interact. The picture envisioned is one where relationships between stakeholders will become increasingly complex (interdependence), flexible (with the assistance of technology) and challenging (sustainability and good governance remain central themes).
At the end of the workshop, the groups were invited to present the priorities for 2030. Some of them are: more investment in research and development; more opportunities for input from citizens into policy making; preparation for new skills, reskilling and upskilling; reinventing public administration; education reform for critical thinking and self-development; good governance.